The representation of a website in the Google SERPs is crucial for the CTR – therefore, the snippets are an important element of the OnPage optimization. What the Google Snippet is exactly and how to optimize it, will I show you.
Title: The heading in the search results
The first important information for the snippet is the document title or simply “Title”, which is shown in the title bar of the browser window or the current browser tab. This entry is stored in the HTML-Code in the title tag of the same name and is used by search services as a heading in the search results.
The title is also an important factor for the SERP ranking. Therefore, it is important to place relevant keywords here. It is often advisable to place a hand-picked title for each content of the website.
How does a good title look like?
- It contains the relevant keyword. Ideal: good visibility right at the beginning
- It signals the user that the search query is answered with this website
- It is about 50 to 70 characters long (depending on screen or device)
- It may contain signal words such as “buy”, “find” or company name
- It is short and crisp!
Most important is, that user expectations are met – a good title does not matter if the content does not match what the title can be expected. Google writes about this in its Quality Rater Guidelines: “This can result in a very poor user experience when users read the title or click a link only to find that the page does not match their expectations.”
Meta Description: The heart of the snippet
The “Meta Description”, which can be stored as a meta-specification in the source code, is ideally displayed in the snippet as a description text under the URL, usually in two lines.
Although the description is not ranking relevance, it is extremely important and should receive sufficient attention in search engine optimization. Because it shows the user whether the page contains exactly what he is looking for. It arouses the interest of the seeker and at best lures him to the website. Thus, a good description can increase the CTR – and thus indirectly influence the ranking and organic web traffic.
How does a good description look like?
- It should not be too short and not too long. Typically it has a minimum of 140 characters and a maximum of 175 characters including spaces (depending on the screen or device).
- It works according to the classic AIDA principle: it awakens the attention and interest, generates a wish and contains a call-to-action
- It clearly shows the USPs of the website
- It is crisply formulated and beautifully structured so that the user can quickly capture the content
- The relevant keyword for the page is included and is as far as possible at the beginning. The user’s search term is displayed in the SERPs so that it can quickly recognize the value of the term in the description.
- It is unique – that is, the description should be given individually to each page.
If no description is given in the source text, the existing specification is obviously unsuitable, or if it simply does not match the user’s search request, another is played. This is usually an automatically selected text excerpt from the page content, which Google considers to be more appropriate for the search query (for example, because it contains the keyword). This can also happen if the search term fits well into a special text section – in the case of a rule, the advantage for all parties involved.
Tricks to optimize the SERPs
Google searches accompany us every day – and so we’re getting better and better looking at the results to decide where to look. This is particularly successful if the website’s offer is quickly accessible to the user.
In order to achieve this, you should structure the text in the description as well as in the title. For this purpose the use of double points, dashes, special characters and delineation with a pipe (that is the vertical line: |) can be used. Here is the example of a description with a nice, fast-trackable structure:
Short, concise formulations as well as optical accents with special symbols arouse the curiosity and increase the click attractiveness
Even with special characters you can stick out from the crowd. For a time, Google has not played any special characters. Currently, the use is again possible. Important: The special character should fit into the content and should not be used in an inflationary manner.
A code list with possible special characters can be found here. But beware: Not all are taken over 1 to 1 by Google.